The NDP has to account for a multibillion-dollar hole in its platform spending promises, the Conservatives and Liberals said Sunday.
The rival parties laid out what they say are significant discrepancies between NDP Leader Tom Mulcair’s commitments of new spending and his pledge that an NDP government would not run a deficit — though they differ on how large the hole would be and what Mulcair would have to do to dig himself out of it.
Mulcair dismissed both the Liberal and Conservative numbers as fictional and called them a sign of desperation by rivals trying to blunt the NDP’s early momentum in the marathon campaign to Oct. 19.
Liberals claim there’s a $28-billion gap, over a four-year term, between Mulcair’s promises and his claim that an NDP government would be able to balance the budget.
“He won’t come clean about his math because the math doesn’t add up. We know because we did the math for him,” Liberal MP John McCallum said.
Meanwhile, Conservative candidate Jason Kenney said there’s at least an $8-billion gap for just the first year of an NDP government. He said that doesn’t include more than 100 other promises New Democrats have made over the past three years without attaching a price tag.
McCallum and Kenney made their remarks during separate news conferences at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa.
McCallum, a former bank economist, said Mulcair would have to slash spending or break most of his promises if he’s serious about balancing the budget, adding that “Tom Mulcair is not telling the truth to Canadians. He’s offering a phoney set of promises that he has no intention of keeping,”
But Kenney accused Mulcair of secretly planning to impose massive tax hikes.
“Canadians cannot afford the NDP,” Kenney said. “We’re only a third of the way through this campaign and already their reckless spending would mean massive tax hikes.”
See also: “Liberals, Tories claim multibillion dollar gap in NDP platform promises” (Global News)
See also: “Paul Martin blasts NDP for move to ‘far right’“